Library Licensing

I have been planning to begin learning the AVR platform as a hobby. Since I’m relatively new to the AVR platform (and electronics in general) I’ve been looking for something to ease into the platform with… I discovered Arduino.

I read that the Arduino platform is open source and released on GPL license. This was perfect for my projects!

Unfortunately, as I read further, I discovered that only Arduino Software was GPL licensed. All the libraries that work with it have a Some Rights Reserved CC license, with the deal-breaking “Noncommercial Use Only” clause.

So suppose I one day wanted to sell the gadgets I made… Anything I developed using the Arduino platform libraries would have to be scrapped and rewritten from scratch!!!

So tell me, why would I want to use Arduino for a learning platform, given that most anything I learn/create could never be used for anything besides personal application??

For that matter, why would I want to use Arduino at all??? It’s sort of a bait-and-switch, giving us the bare platform GPL’ed and then teasing us with libraries that add all sorts of capabilities (the real meat of the platform) with use restrictions??? What gives??

Not sure why you say none of the libraries are released under the GNU Lesser General Public licence, the ones I happen to use are. But if there is functionality you need in a library that has a commercial licence, you are free to write your own functionality or agree commercial terms with the licensor. Which ones were you concerned about?

if the library’s have “similar aspects” of the copyrighted ones, then theres no problem, you could copyright your rewritten one, but it CAN NOT be so similar that you cant tell the difference… thats plagiarism, and if you sold it, you would be violating there agreements, and they could sue you, but i’m sure they never would, as long as you don’t profit from there specific code. If you implement it into your different code, i’m sure it will be fine, as long as you don’t sell it to a company that will mass produce these with the exact arduino code, and you make all the profits


happy new years! and good luck with your projects

I’m talking about every library available here:

They are “Official Libraries” linked to from here:

Charles: the libraries themselves are under the LGPL. Only the (Wiring) documentation is licensed under a CC license with a Non Commercial clause. Also, the Arduino reference is under a CC Attribution, Share-Alike license that allows commercial uses.

So if I prototyped out something using Arduino and then popped the chip out and placed it into my own custom (substantially different) board, that would be fine??

Yes. Although I believe that the LGPL requires you to provide object files of your program upon request, so that it can be rebuilt against newer versions of the libraries. But there’s definitely no restriction on commercial usage.

Okay, I’ve been advised not to interpret the licenses myself. So I’ll just say that the libraries themselves are under the LGPL, and you should read the license for details.